East Juniata sizzles in the final stanza, tops Newport
Jan 23, 2023

By Kenny Varner

COCOLAMUS – Defensively, the East Juniata defense again clamped down on TVAA for Newport in its second meeting, propelling the Tigers to a 44-28 victory in boys’ basketball action Monday.

East Juniata took control of the boards 38 to 22.

Ten of those rebounds came from the big man in the middle Dylan Wagner. Wagner also scored six points and swatted away five blocks.

In the fourth quarter, the Buffaloes pulled it to as close as seven points before the Tigers would start to sizzle and end the game on a 11-2 run to end the contest.

Offensively, Jake Brackbill provided the punch needed, hitting for 13 points and pulling down eight rebounds as well. Brackbill was fearless down under pushing the to the hoop and shooting the ball in traffic on numerous occasions.

Things started a little slow for the Tigers in the first as they were trying to find their shots.

“It was a lot better than when we started out the game,” said East Juniata coach Justin Hazel when asked about what he thought of how his team finished off the game. “We started counting in the first half. We left 26 points on the board from missed lay ups and missed foul shots. Stuff we usually make. That was the tale of the story right there.”

“We said we got to end this now or we’re going to be in trouble so that was the mindset in that time out. Kudos to the kids for them taking care of that.

Coming into the final stanza, East Juniata held a 29-19 advantage.

East Juniata’s Jack Hoffman got the scoring started as he muscled his way in for two.

On their next possession, Newport responded when Teo Garcia hit a leaner to cut the lead back to 10.

Clark Ritzman, who finished with seven, was fouled on the Tigers next possession. He went a perfect 2-for-2 from the line, moving the lead back to 12 with 6:30 left.

Newport went on a quick 5-0 run on a bucket in the lane by Josh Bellis and a triple by teammate Garcia, cutting it to a 33-26 advantage.

The run would force a time out. The Tigers were able to regroup and come out scorching hot as they got hard contested buckets by Wagner, four from Brady Roe and three from Ritzman to put the game out of reach.

The Tigers would never trail in the game as they opened the contest, posting a 15-6 first quarter lead.

Newport tried to make a run at the lead in the second by scoring eight but the Tigers would be three points better, posting 11 and taking a 21-12 advantage going into the intermission.

Newport kept battling as they were outscored by only one in the third by a 8-7 East Juniata advantage, setting the scene for the fourth.

In JV action, Newport took the close contest 37-34.

East Juniata 44, Newport 28

NW   4  8   7 9 – 28

EJ   10 11   8 15 – 44

Scoring: Newport – Ruben Moreno 2 2-2 6, Teo Garcia 2 0-0 5, Tyler Gardner 0 1-2 1, Logan Burns 1 0-2 2, Josh Bellis 1 0-0 2, Ryder Wonds 0 2-6 2. Totals 11 5-12 28.

East Juniata – Jake Brackbill 5 3-6 13, Caden Geedey 2 0-0 4, Owen Dressler 1 0-2 2, Clark Ritzman 1 5-6  7, Dylan Wagner 3 0-0 6, Jack Hoffman 2 0-0 4, Brady Roe 3 0-0 6. Totals 18 8-14 44.

Played but didn’t score: Newport – Evan Still 0 0-0 0, Evan Fleisher 0 0-0 0. East Juniata – Wrett Smith 0 0-0 0, Nate Freed 0 0-0 0, Walker Stutts 0 0-0 0.

3-point shot: Newport – Garcia. East Juniata – None.

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